Today's business world requires companies to put customers in the driving seat. Nurturing customer relationships is the secret to boosting your customer lifetime value, cutting down churn, leaving your competitors in the dust, and catapulting your business growth. Usher in customer-centricity. We see you wondering, "What is it and how can you hack it?"
This article lays bare all you need to put a permanent smile across your customers' faces☺. Read on:
Customer-centricity is a business approach where you prioritize your customer and place them at the heart of your business operations. The goal is to offer positive experiences and build life-long relationships.
Customer centricity can have positive impacts that can skyrocket your business' growth. Don't take our word for it:
Customer-centricity definition out of the way, how about real-life example cases of its impact?
Amazon is among the behemoths demonstrating the importance of cementing brand equity through customer centricity. In fact, during the days of Jeff Bezos, every crucial meeting had an empty chair representing the customers.
Every department in the company focuses on collecting intelligent data about customers' preferences, pain points, habits, behaviors, and more. The company then uses this data to deliver real value to the customer's journey.
Their top-notch customer tracking game enhances efficiency in everything from product search to delivery and feedback. No wonder the company grew to a giant worth US$ 430bn in just 20 years, toppling Walmart.
Emirates set the record in the Middle East amidst a highly competitive airline market. The company has risen to the challenge of surpassing customer expectations even as it expands to meet regional demand.
This airline understands that customers are making both physical and mental journeys. That's why it invests much in customer-centric technology at every customer touch point- from booking to arrivals. No wonder 2016 saw its brand value growing up to $7.7 billion.
So, what are some of the impacts of customer-centricity? Let's journey through them:
A customer-centric business has an in-depth understanding of its customer and their pain points. Also, it actively gathers actionable insights to boost customer experience. The result? Customers will be satisfied and remain loyal to the brand.
Excellent customer service is the key to customer satisfaction, differentiating you from the pack in today's competitive market. A Gartner survey reveals that 89% of organizations expect to compete mainly based on customer experience.
A satisfied customer will remain glued to your business, positively impacting your bottom line. So don't remain behind.
Higher customer satisfaction and low churn rate mean one thing- more customers will continue doing business with you. Solve their pain points, and they won't keep the good news to themselves- they'll refer your business to your friends and family. The overall result is a skyrocketed return on investment and revenue.
A team that focuses on the customer strives to think outside the box. It won't stick to old strategies that have fallen out of fashion, thereby increasing company-wide innovation.
Customers' voices can either break or make your brand. That's where customer-centricity gives you a chance to listen to your audience and act appropriately. And that's how leading companies turn negative feedback into winning strategies.
Customers' preferences and needs can change or evolve abruptly, getting you off-guard. But if your organization is customer-centric, you'll always be ahead of the game. This is because you always tailor your offer to the customer's pain points and stay abreast with customer experience trends.
So how can you embed your customer at your business' heart? Here are tried-and-true strategies that will make customer-centric governence a top consideration within your company:
In a particular US insurance firm, the CEO had prioritized customer experience for two years. Customer ratings shot through the roof.
But the CEO made a grave mistake. He decided that the customer-experience team should start reporting to COO. 6 months later, the customer ratings plummeted due to a lack of accountability from other departments.
What does that demonstrate? Customer journey needs to be an executive priority. In other words, the top honchos (such as Chief Customer Officer and Chief Executive Officer) need to own the customer experience for the culture to trickle down to the lowest ranks. They need to:
You cannot tailor an experience if you don't know your customer inside-out. To hack this strategy, combine customer usage and behavior data with external information. The external details in a customer's background offer powerful insights into their spending behavior. Don't forget to:
First impressions matter. And whatever the customer hears, sees, and senses about your brand shape the way they perceive you in the long haul.
For example, when shopping for a phone, the customer will form their impression of the device based on multiple interactions with your business. After journeying through your business, their ultimate irritation or satisfaction comes from an overall impression.
So how well have you embedded your brand in customer interactions? Is there continuity across the organization departments in serving the customer, especially among sales, marketing, and customer care teams?
As top management, embrace customer orientation to boost success. You can learn from Disney:
Disney employs a leadership structure that connects results delivery to customer satisfaction. It determines satisfaction through "propensity to return" and "propensity to recommend" metrics. The company's leaders strive to equip employees to satisfy customers, enhancing business results.
Here's how you, too, can walk the talk:
Top management should empower frontline people. First, show them how important they are in the company. Then empower these individuals to make decisions and appreciate their efforts and feedback. Remember to walk the talk and show them how to treat customers. Also:
Customer-centricity should be the whole organization's beating heart. It should cut across all teams- from the frontline customer service teams to the organization's back offices. So ensure everyone is game:
Customer metrics help you identify the hits and misses. It's important to collect continuous insights from the measurements and respond appropriately.
You're now a pro in customer-centricity. Right? Well, we know how hard it is so imbed customer-centricity into a business and get it right. But with continual improvement and having your ear on the ground, your organization's innovativeness and creativity is the only limit. Remember the goal is to invest in life-long relationships with customers.
Acquiring a new customer costs 7 times more than maintaining an existing one!
Whether you are an entrepreneur, manager, consultant, (Vice-)President, CxO, etc.... this seven-step process, you will have all the tools you need to make Customer Service Excellence work.